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Posted: 9/3/2004 11:59:01 AM EDT
A friend loaned me Call of Duty to play. I went through the easiest difficulty this week. I'll probably tackle the hardest difficulty this weekend.

Overall, it's a fun game. They have some excellent (I'm going to call it) scripted scenarios where you interact with Non-Player-Characters to achieve objectives. But, once you get out of these scenarios, it feels like a somewhat boring kill/reload game. A good example would be the British bridge map, you get to set charges on AA guns on top of the bridge, but then you have to go into and below the dam to take out more guns and generators. Going through the bridge gets boring. Turn the corner, shoot the German, rinse and repeat.
Another fun killer is that the most common weapon is the MP40. The most common gun the Germans drop is the MP40. The MP44 could be more entertaining, but it drops so seldom that you can't keep it in ammo. You only get the BAR in one mission, and it quickly runs out of ammo. The Thompson will also run out if you are in a mission of any length, leaving you with: TADA: the MP40.
A big fun booster is getting to use emplaced guns and tanks. You get to shoot German 88's at Tiger tanks, and drive a Russian tank into a tank battle. I encountered one place where the environment actually reacted to tank rounds. I shot a round into a bombed out building and it took the floor out of that level. This is something that designers have been trying to do for a while, so I was impressed. I was too busy staying alive or I would have shot more buildings.
In case you didn't know, you get to play as American, British, and Russian. I found the Russian levels to be the most entertaining.
The pistol seems to be totally useless, I never used it.
Realism is a compromise between arcade like fun and trying to keep the game challenging. You don't have the severe (and more realistic) muzzle jump like in Americas Army, but if you are moving, you are less accurate. Crouching and going prone increase your accuracy. Accuracy is indicated by how wide your crosshairs are spread out.
I ran into one situation that I considered to be unfair to the player. You must pick up a Panzerfaust and take out a Tiger. The Pf's are located in the church. So, you take out the Tiger and move on. Well, a little later another Tiger appears and you need another Pf. I couldn't find my way to the church to get another! I ended up restarting the level and taking a second Pf with me so I'd be ready.
At about that same time I encountered a sound bug. I was running under Creative EAX mode and after a mortar hit I had a tone in my headphones that wouldn't go away. I switched to 2d sound mode and it went away. I am running old drivers so that may have affected it.
Overall, Artificial Intelligence was poor. Friendly NPC's that weren't scripted would often stand in machine gun fire and get killed.

Overall, I'm gonna give it a 3.5 out of 5. Who knows, it may get better when I play the harder difficulty.

Link Posted: 9/3/2004 2:30:35 PM EDT
When you play it on the hardest you will respond with WTF? One bullet seems like it will kill you and even taking cover etc will not help as the AI will cap you from a mile off. Good luck. Muptiplayer however, is a welcome diverson from AA. Its a little faster but don't play the Russian maps with the PPsH. ugh.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 2:49:10 AM EDT

I was also pretty impressed with Call of Duty when it was originally released. Have to agree that the Russian missions are the best. The add-on for it just went "gold" so it should be showing up on store shelves sometime in the next 2 weeks or so.

Couple of problems I had with CoD:

- Some "levels" are too linear: For example, the mission where you have to fight into a POW camp to rescue prisoners. The "camp" is laid out in such a way that there's only on path to the objective and one path out. Lots of ares convienantly blocked by various things.

- Ammo interchangeability: For example, when you pick up ammo for the Mosin-Nagant, that ammo can only be used on the infantry version of the MN and can not be used for the sniper variant. Same thing with the K98 Mauser and sniper variant.

- Lack of weapons: I would have liked to have seen a few more weapons in the game. It looks like they got a little lazy with adding these in. For example, different pistols for the Birtish and Russians. The British use the 1911 and the Russians all seem to use captured Lugers. The Birtish use the 1903 for sniping in the game instead of the No. 4 Mk.I T.

If you have a copy of Unreal Tournament 2004, there's a really nice WWII "eastern front" conversion for the program called Red Orchestra. The homepage and download can be found here: Red Orchestra
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 6:51:49 AM EDT
Yup, I noticed that too.

I started the Veteran difficulty last night. It does make it more interesting. You have to be a lot more careful about exposing yourself to enemy fire. I run out of grenades too fast though! I barely used them when I started Greenhorn, but I started using them towards the end. Now I use them all the time and I'm constantly out.

Originally Posted By XeroSygnal:

- Ammo interchangeability: For example, when you pick up ammo for the Mosin-Nagant, that ammo can only be used on the infantry version of the MN and can not be used for the sniper variant. Same thing with the K98 Mauser and sniper variant.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 6:22:46 PM EDT
Well, hours later and probably 200 deaths, I've completed Veteran difficulty. The Russian apartment building mission was by far the worst. Brutal, just brutal. I don't recommend Veteran difficulty unless you have a LOT of patience. Which one is the worn out smiley??
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